Got a hankering for some vintage Americana? You’ve come to the right place! St. Petersburg has some hidden treasures that will immediately transport you back to the good ol’ days—without even needing a time machine!
In the Historic Old Northeast neighborhood, you’ll find St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum, the Sunken Gardens. This 100-year-old garden is a botanical paradise filled with cascading waterfalls, beautiful demonstration gardens, gorgeous flowers, and more than 50,000 tropical plants (some of which are the oldest in the region). Make sure to check out their animals, too, like their relaxing koi pond and their new flock of 20 fabulous flamingos which have joined George and Lucy—the two remaining Chilean flamings from the original flock that have been on exhibit since 1956.
Coney Island Grill
Come on down to the oldest family-owned restaurant in St. Petersburg! Coney Island Grill is the quintessential mom-and-pop restaurant. Sit on a stool at the old-school lunch counter and watch speedy short-order cooks serve up delicious burgers, hot dogs, chili dogs, fries and hand-dipped milkshakes. This St. Petersburg staple has been in business since 1926 when hot dogs were only a nickel and burgers were only a dime. Prices are a tiny bit higher than that today but we promise, your meal here will be worth every penny!
St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club
In between Mirror Lake and the famous Coliseum Ballroom, you’ll find the oldest and largest shuffleboard club in the world with 32 lighted courts (65 total) and an amazing old grandstand. St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club was founded in 1924 and was neglected for years until 2005 when it started hosting Friday night games and 2008 when it underwent the ultimate revitalization. Now it’s a hotspot for people in their 20s and 30s and even college students who come to hang out, listen to live music and learn the game.
No, this isn’t Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory—but it’s the closest you might just get! Candy Kitchen is an iconic landmark on Madeira Beach that has something to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Founded in 1950, this family-owned business prides itself on making homemade ice cream, fudge, Italian ice, and selling nostalgic candy from your childhood. Generations of locals and visitors have ended their trips to “Mad Beach” with stops at this mom-and-pop shop, cooling themselves off with a simple scoop of ice cream or even the famous Big Mouth brownie ice cream sandwich.
Drive just two minutes south of Alden Suites on Gulf Blvd and you’ll come across an Easter-Island-style moai head and a giant, green coiled snake. Welcome to Polynesian Putter, a classically retro 18-hole miniature golf course built-in 1966. This roadside attraction hasn’t changed much during the last 50 years, which is great, because the crazy statues that pay homage to the once-popular Tiki culture make it the perfect spot for Instagram photoshoots! Just don’t forget to address the ball. (“Hello, ball!”)